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Thread: Am I doing it wrong?

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    Am I doing it wrong?

    I took ownership of a 24,000 gal in-ground pool when I began renting a buddy's house June 1st. It has a 1HP pump, and a sand filter, and top mounted hayward multiport valve. There is a 2 seated spa section, but no boosters or anything just normal returns there.

    After I moved in, the landlord replaced the vinyl liner, since the previous tenant let the pool dry up, and had an in-line chlorinator installed.

    Since it ran dry before, I worry about a leak in the equipment, but also maybe around the edges of the stairs/spa since the pool guy did the work himself and seemed hasty. The multiport valve did go some to waste after turning it before. I finally replaced the gasket this weekend. I'd come home to maybe 1.5" less water, even when the waste drain out front did not seem to be dripping, and so far it has been more stable. So better feelings there.

    The in-line chlorinator says use 3" Trichlor tabs. I think I saw it yesterday online as being for above ground pools up to 18,000 gallons, maybe mine is different *shrug*. I read today Trichlor is not good primary, since it raises CYA and then needs more chlorine. I load it up with about 10 tabs a week and usually adjusting it for a reading of 2-3ppm on the cheap test strips.

    It has been raining here a *LOT* lately. Everyday for weeks it seems, so I was not coming home and directly messing with the pool like the first few weeks, and had the green algae rather bad Friday, though I think I handled that well. What I ended up doing matched very closely to the guides here. (I worked on instinct and product labels since it would be dark soon). It's rather clear already!

    I went through articles on pool school. Interesting one is adding DE to sand. Does everyone do this? Is there a reason I should not do this? Does it need removed/replaced at some point sooner than the sand? (That'd suck).

    The valve handle for the stairs water jets is broken, so I have been leaving it off. Those, and the 2 in the spa section are slightly larger than the pool returns anyway. When I have the pool and spa on, the filter reads 13psi. It sounds of microbubbles or sand scrapping around in there though. When I look in the clear cover on the pump, I believe what is swishing around is some dirt, not air. I looked real hard. If I have only the pool returns on, it is 23psi, and quiet. I've never seen my PSI rise, but I would backwash when the water looked cloudy. I read now that a large filter may not need backwashed for months.

    The pool store nearby has accurate testing which they've not charged me for yet. They push BioGuard products, but I only went with their recommendations when I opened the pool, and this past weekend when I needed 40lbs of sodium bicarbonate to fix my TA Otherwise it's just been Trichlor all day everyday

    Enough story and rambling.

    1. Should I continue with Trichlor? My CYA hasn't gone crazy. It's about 30 right now (but my stuff was all messed up this last sample anyway)
    2. Add DE to sand?
    3. Is sound coming from my multiport valve a sign of issues?
    24,000g IG vinyl, 1HP pump, top-mount sand filter.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    Welcome to TFP.

    1. How are you testing the CYA? If it's strips or from a pool store, they are usually wrong. I would stop using trichlor until you're pretty sure of the CYA level.

    2. That's optional. You can add a couple of cups if you want but it's not required.

    3. Not necessarily. Multiport valves make some noise during normal operation, but if it's very annoying there have been a few posts about issues with certain setups that cause them to make a lot of noise. It doesn't hamper the operation but is annoying.

    A good test kit would be a good investment for you. And then spend some time in Pool School if haven't already.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    I edited my post. The CYA was measured at pool store with BioGuard machine. I've been relying on that weekly in-lieu of getting my own test kit yet. Do you believe this machine to be inaccurate?
    I have been reading various things and will continue. I will be looking at alternate methods to distribute FC after this bucket of Trichor is spent anyway. Thank you.
    24,000g IG vinyl, 1HP pump, top-mount sand filter.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    We have found that Pool Store tests in general are more often wrong than right. A lot more often.

    The machine may not be inaccurate but the application invariably is.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by neutronscott
    I edited my post. The CYA was measured at pool store with BioGuard machine. I've been relying on that weekly in-lieu of getting my own test kit yet. Do you believe this machine to be inaccurate?
    I have been reading various things and will continue. I will be looking at alternate methods to distribute FC after this bucket of Trichor is spent anyway. Thank you.
    Here's my story...

    I used a pool store test for a couple of days. It as a fancy one with individually sealed vials and a special dispenser that ensured the proper amount was distributed into each vial. The problem is they could never get the tests to agree even if administered within a few minutes. That told me that the reliability and repeatability of the test was suspect.

    I have since found out that calibration is complicated on that test and they are not doing it accurately. A case in point is that the one thing most of their tests kept agreeing on is that I had ZERO Total Alkalinity (TA). I added about 25lbs of TA increaser trying to fix that - only to get my test kit and find out I had TA of 180!!!! I had added TA when none was needed!

    My own testing using the TF100 kit (one of two recommended here. has been repeatable and while I made mistakes in testing methods early on - these were gradually fixed and I trust my results more than any pool store testing.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    Welcome to TFP! You've received solid advice and you can easily see why a test kit pays for itself rather quickly. That 40lb bag of sodium bicarbonate the PS sold you is just plain old baking soda...yup the same stuff we can get at walmart on the cheap. Trichlor, besides it's CYA impact, is acidic, which wreaks havoc on PH and TA. It is not uncommon for member to tell us after prolonged Trichlor use that their TA/PH have crashed and not sure what is going on with water chemistry.

    Using Trichlor is OK if your CYA is not too high, but knowing how it impacts your water chemistry is crucial and TFP will also guide you with cost effective approaches to managing your chemistry, while you use up those tabs (we tend to only use them while away on vacation )
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    I've made it to the end of the relative articles in Pool School and going though "Further Reading" chem geek's post Cost Comparison of Chlorine Sources is exactly the kind of math I like to do myself. It seems beach is the way to go since it has less effects on the other numbers which I want to look after. Having a way to adjust the chemistry without dependencies on other levels simplifies things. I will budget a TF-100 into my next paycheck and adjust to liquid beach chlorination. It seems it would pay for itself in saving my pH levels from the havoc of Trichor.
    24,000g IG vinyl, 1HP pump, top-mount sand filter.

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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    OK I got home and let the store test my water again. It makes sense they'd like me to keep losing TA so they can sell me 50lb bags of sodium bicarbonate, but why do they say the ideal CYA is 30 - 200, but my chlorine should never be above 3!? She said yeah that's good...

    Anyway if the machine is to be relied upon at all, my CYA is up from 30 on Friday to 71 today, but at least my FC is 5 and CC 0. I'll need to stop Trichlor before it runs away from me.

    TA=125 (Adj to 104). pH=7.6. CYA=71. FC=5.

    Recommends 12 more lbs of sodium bicarbonate. I think I'll pass for now. I'm a TFP follower. I will not go back there. The pool has cleared up a lot since Friday without their chemicals (Although now I wish it wasn't with Trichlor)
    24,000g IG vinyl, 1HP pump, top-mount sand filter.

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    ajackson's Avatar
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    Re: Am I doing it wrong?

    [quote="neutronscott"]I edited my post. The CYA was measured at pool store with BioGuard machine. I've been relying on that weekly in-lieu of getting my own test kit yet. Do you believe this machine to be inaccurate? [quote]

    I just wanted to let you know what I saw of the CYA. My pool store also measured with a Biogaurd machine.. they measured it at 30 and 35
    I have not been able to keep my pool clear for 1 1/2 years.
    Last week I went on this site and received my Taylor test kit and my CYA was a whooping 160.. So much for the electronic test...
    Because of the Great Advice from the wonderful people on this site I drained 1/2 my pool on Friday and started the shock process. (since I had a managable cya/chlorine Level)
    It is now Monday and my pool is Crystal Clear..
    I am a firm believer that the CYA has a HUGE effect on the chlorine.
    I had spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars at the pool store with NO improvment. I was getting to the point where I just wanted to close and deal with next year.

    I am so glad I found this site and listened to all thier advice. I actually look forward to getting back in the pool.
    Good Luck.
    14500k inground, vinyl, built in 2007
    Hayward Sand Filter, 1hp Hayward pump, AquaCal electric heat pump
    Taylor K 2006

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